You may not have noticed, but I have a little Handpicked Future button on my website. It used to be Handpicked Media, but recently they joined forces with Future, to become Handpicked Future.
I may not explain exactly what it is, but for me, I think of them as my blog 'agency'. They 'manage' bloggers/publishers and act as an intermediary between 'us' and the brands and businesses looking to reach an (our) audience. Handpicked believe that 'talent' deserves to be paid for the reach they have achieved.
I've been with Handpicked Media for a few years now, and am excited about the new Handpicked Future.
Last night I attended a drinks they hosted, for us to meet the Future team, and to hear about what the merge may mean. It got me thinking about blogging as a whole.
Jo Morell, the MD of Future (and now the director of handpicked Future) introduced the Future brand, and I commented to her later that I enjoyed the fact that she discussed our blogs as 'businesses' and didn't use the word blog once. She talked about wanting to hear from us, and what we wanted from them for our businesses. For so many of us, our blogs are our businesses, and they demand a lot of work and effort to maintain them over the years!
Krista Madden, the MD of Handpicked Future referred to us a publishers, rather than bloggers, which I feel reflects the whole host of publishing platforms, rather than just the blog we run. Instagram, tweeting and facebooking etc. They all have reach above and beyond the people who read our blogs.
We also talked about the balance between freebies and earning cash from the brands who want to use our reach. Don't get me wrong, a freebie is lovely and I appreciate anything I get for free, but advertising and marketing (reaching new customers) deserves to be paid for too. The traditional forms include paying to advertise in a magazine, but times have moved on, and some of that budget is now being used on digital promotion.